A Taste of the World's Most Dangerous Flavor, With Recipes

eBook - 2014
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"The champion of uncelebrated foods including fat, offal, and bones, Jennifer McLagan turns her attention to a fascinating, underappreciated, and trending topic: bitterness. What do coffee, IPA beer, dark chocolate, and radicchio all have in common? They're bitter. In this deep and fascinating exploration of bitter through science, culture, history, and 120 deliciously idiosyncratic recipes, award-winning author Jennifer McLagan makes a case for this misunderstood flavor. Biologically-speaking, the taste of something bitter--unlike sweet, which can indicate a nutrient-rich food, and salty, which indicates the presence of needed minerals--can signify a poison, so an appreciation for bitterness must develop with age and experience. Bitter is a known appetite stimulant and is often just the thing to add dimension and balance to a dish. While some culinary cultures, such as in Italy and parts of Asia, have an inherent appreciation for bitter flavors (think Campari and Chinese bitter melon), little attention has been given to bitterness in North America: we're much more likely to reach for salty or sweet. However, even in North America, bitter is making inroads with increased interest in cocktail bitters, craft beers, and artisanal coffee; and consumption of bitter salad greens and chocolate is growing. In the capable hands of McLagan, bitterness will emerge from the shadows of the culinary underworld and get its deserved place in the spotlight"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: Berkeley : Ten Speed Press, 2014
ISBN: 9781607745174 electronic bk
1607745178 electronic bk
Branch Call Number: eBOOK 664.07 MCL
Characteristics: 1 online resource : col. ill


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A fascinating exploration of bitter through science, culture, history, and 100 deliciously idiosyncratic recipes.

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Nov 20, 2017

Bitter, which received a James Beard award for food writing in 2015, takes a dark but colorful journey through the varieties of bitter tastes that different world cultures have prized. With pages that alternate succulent photography, highly creative recipes, and short essays on specific foods, aspects of taste and the experience of food through all of our senses, and culinary histories, McLagan explores the universe of bitterness: wild greens (separate from arugula and Brussels sprouts) to grapefruits and walnuts, coffees to bitter spirits and Amari, even cardoons and celery. The final chapter delves into the "forbidden" bitter flavors of tobacco and, of course, chocolate. Expect your lips to pucker and your taste buds to water as you peruse this otherworldly compendium.

Aug 14, 2015

Honestly, only two recipes got my attention. Unimaginative .

May 02, 2015

My only complaint about this otherwise outstanding book is that most of the information pages are laid out in white font on a celadon green background, which doesn't provide enough contrast to be easily read.

lib_apart Nov 22, 2014

lib_apart Nov 13, 2014

Like the flavor profile of bitter foods, this book works on many levels. The recipes range from simple to complex and hold to the author's mission of using bitter tastes to create a well-rounded dish. Jennifer McLagan draws from international influences and little known sources of bitterness, and intersperses this work with interesting tidbits about taste and the history of these bitter plants.


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